ncreased British navy coaching of Ukrainian troopers may transfer into the war-torn nation underneath plans revealed by new Defence Secretary Grant Shapps.
Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Shapps – who took over the defence portfolio from Ben Wallace on the finish of August – stated he has additionally spoken to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in regards to the Royal Navy serving to to defend business vessels within the Black Sea.
And he stated Britain was on the lookout for methods to assist Ukraine get in form for membership of Nato.
Mr Shapps visited a navy base on Salisbury Plain on Friday the place he was briefed by Basic Sir Patrick Sanders, Chief of the Basic Workers, and different senior figures.
He stated: “I used to be speaking about finally getting the coaching introduced nearer and really into Ukraine as nicely.
“Notably within the west of the nation, I feel the chance now’s to deliver extra issues in nation, and never simply coaching. We’re seeing BAE, for instance, transfer into manufacturing in nation.
“I’m eager to see different British corporations do their bit as nicely by doing the identical factor.”
Greater than 20,000 recruits from Ukraine have acquired coaching within the UK for the reason that begin of 2022, however Nato members have averted coaching programmes in Ukraine because of the danger of personnel being drawn into fight with Russia.
The Defence Secretary stated he had spoken to Mr Zelensky on Wednesday and hinted Britain may play a extra lively position within the Black Sea, the place Russia has focused cargo ships.
“Britain is a naval nation so we might help and we are able to advise, notably for the reason that water is worldwide water,” he stated.
“It’s necessary we don’t enable a scenario to ascertain by default that in some way worldwide delivery isn’t allowed in that water.
“There’s a whole lot of locations the place Britain might help advise.”
Forward of the Conservative Celebration convention in Manchester, Mr Shapps advised the Telegraph that Britain ought to reinstate former prime minister Liz Truss’s pledge to extend defence spending to three% of GDP.
“I feel it’s actually necessary that we perceive that freedom isn’t free,” he stated.
“You need to pay for it and it additionally retains us affluent, not solely as a result of we maintain out invaders, however we additionally assist form the world round us and do good on the planet.”
He added that not reconsidering plans for the HS2 rail line following the prices from the pandemic and struggle in Ukraine can be “just about irresponsible” and ruling out range quotas within the navy, he stated migrants to the UK ought to be taught English.